Peter Cooper's Memories of the Railway Tavern

Peter Cooper describes the Railway Tavern (audio)
Peter Cooper describes the Railway Tavern (2min 33secs)
A transcription of this audio clip is given below.
Peter Cooper in 2009
Photo by Tim Gane
Peter Cooper with his parents Lol and Becca outside The Railway Tavern on Coronation Day, 1953
Photograph courtesy of Peter Cooper

Peter’s father, Lol Cooper, ran the Railway Tavern from 1948 until his death in 1958.  The pub closed in 1959.  Here Peter describes the pub where he grew up.  You can hear Peter talking if you click on the ‘Play’ button on the adjacent audio bar.

There was a saloon bar and in one of the photographs I’ve got you can see us all standing in that entrance.  The old bar used to be on the left there, there were no chairs just seats all round and then there was a little snug bar to the right hand side.  The cellar so called was just down the passageway down to the left hand side of the tavern as you are looking from the main door.  The toilet used to be on the right hand side.  I don’t think we had a ladies toilet to be quite honest, there was only one that I can remember, just a gents in that old barn at the right hand side of the double gates that was all claybat, an old claybat building.  Then there was a kitchen out at the back where we were and that was all claybat as well because my old dog Bruce found a rat in there one day and he nearly went right through the wall and nobody would dare go in there to drag him out as he would snap your arm off – he would really!  There was a big old lead pump, I think they did have their own water there at one time but eventually I think it was pulled out, possibly by me as somebody told me lead might be good for a profit!  There is a big well at the back.  The bar was by the front door where people ordered their drinks; there was not a bar either side just a room either side, the bar was at the front.  The living accommodation had three bedrooms upstairs and quite a big kitchen at the back and a little tiny sitting room at the side of it.  There was only the one toilet out the back.

Audio Transcription by Gloria Willers

Thank you Peter.  Do you have any memories of the Railway Tavern or indeed any of the other pubs in the village?  If so we’d love to hear from you. Please add a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Remember my Dad (Fred) visiting this pub many times, and on one occasion falling from his bicycle breaking his arm on the way home to Melbourn. Can’t begin to think how that could have happened!

    By John Bakewell (21/03/2019)
  • My grandparents, Arthur and Elsie Cooper Chapman and their first born child, my mother Iris, left Meldreth in October 1925 to come to America. My mother was almost 4 years old. I remember hearing stories of my mother forgetting her favourite doll. Her cousin Oscar Cooper ran home and got her doll for her. I still have the doll: it is quite large but is in need of repair. I am sure most of the Cooper and Chapman families in Meldreth are related to me.

    By Linda Elmes Harrington (21/06/2013)
  • In 1952, I was looking for a site to build a garage and I could have bought the Railway Tavern site for £800. There was insufficient land to build a garage. The land behind had been allotments for the railway workers.

    By John Gipson (16/05/2011)

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